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I grew up in Bath, moved to London in my 20s and lived there for 25 years. We moved back to Bath 3 years ago and live about half a mile from Bear Flat. Its a great part of Bath if you have young kids, there seems to be lots going on.
Agree that in spite of the property prices, Bath is not and never has been truly "conservative" (although the last-minute cancellation of this weekend's punk music festival makes me ) Very active music and arts scenes. I'm a mature student and go to loads of cultural events put on by Bath Spa Uni for example, so you don't have to spend a fortune either.
Don't think Bath is more druggy than anywhere else in the West Country TBH. Not much else to do in rural areas and it's certainly always been part of the Bath scene. I have a teenage son who refuses to try even a drop of alcohol, far less get involved with druggies, so I guess it's down to who you choose to mix with.
Personally I wouldn't call Bath conservative. Quite the opposite in fact.
One thing I think is a bad thing in terms of raising kids here is that it's a very druggy place imo. I left Bath in the early 80s to get away from this aspect of the city and am now watching my teenage son seriously considering leaving to get away from the druggies. :-(
That is partly down to who you mix with admittedly but Bath is a series of 'cultural villages' as my mother recognised in the 60s and once you're in a group it's hard to extricate yourself.
I came from south London to bear flat last year. There is obviously less diversity here but everyone is very friendly - although a lot posher than me as well! I am also a single parent so that makes me feel a bit left out at the cosy toddler groups... I find Bath a bit conservative having had a career in the music industry but maybe I haven't met the right people yet.
Apart from that I am enjoying it and it's great for children. Good luck with your move.
People are very friendly in Bath. There are loads of creative types here. A lot of small business creatives that share office space and lots who still work in town.
I moved here 10 years ago from London. It was a bit of a culture shock but I will now only leave in my coffin. Never will i be shifted from this city. I LOVE it, the people and all the opportunities here. It did take me five years to get it though, that was me though not the city .
I live in Bear Flat - it's a lovely area and has a big community of local artists (in fact, there is a 'Bear Flat Artists' event this weekend!). I think you will find lots of like-minded people in the area, I know a lot of people (including myself) who have moved from London and work/have worked in art/media etc. I grew up in Bath but went to London in London and stayed there, I am very glad to be back again!
I think people are generally very friendly and open-minded here. There's lots to do and it's very beautiful. Alexandra Park is my favourite park ever and is just at the top of Bear Flat with the most amazing views.
Whereabouts in Bear Flat are you moving to? Do you have kids?
Bath has always been a den of alternative bohemians going back to Georgian times so you won't be alone relokate. In the sixties I think many coming back from Stonehenge and Glastonbury came here, liked it and never moved on! ;-)
Generally the only snotty people you will find are amongst the wealthier and smug of the incomers - us Bathonians are very open and friendly having had hundreds of years of welcoming visitors to the city! You and your family are very welcome to join us. :-)
Walcot Street is now called the "artisan" area but historically was the hippy hangout (I'm going back a number of years here). Although you'll miss this year's Music Festival and the alternative Fringe Festival you will get an idea of how Bath ticks from looking at the latter's website . . . www.bathfringe.co.uk/. Other websites to look at to give you a flavour of Bath are www.chapelarts.org/ ; www.widcombe.net/ ; www.thebellinnbath.co.uk/.
As well as the grand Theatre Royal we have a couple of lovely small & independent theatres - the Rondo and the Mission. Although we don't have as many big names in music visiting us as we used to do this is currently on the up. (e.g. Patti Smith, a particularly massive hero of my teenage years, is playing one of just 3 UK gigs in Bath next month.)
There are lots of independent art galleries as well as the Holbourne Museum and council run Victoria Art Gallery which are both worth a visit. We have many artists of all sorts living in Bath - art per se isn't really on my radar but it's all around in Bath!
Also don't forget that Bristol is a short train ride away and it is a major city in terms of art, theatre & music etc.
The thing I love most about Bath and tge surrounding area is how nice people are, of course there are the odd bad eggs, but generally there is a diversity of groups. Bear Flat is a nice area, nice walk into town. Lots of baby groups in walking distance.
I live outside Bath and come into town for the odd group or activity with DD.
Lots of creative/ arty types, don't think there is an area as such.
Hi there, we are planning to move to Bath in the summer and have bought a house in Bear Flat poets corner. Having lived in London all our lives it's a big wrench and a bit nerve wracking. The only reservation I have is whether i will find like-minded people there? Have been down a few times now and everyone seems friendly enough if a bit posher than me! Is it snobby there? Do they welcome newcomers? We're both from media/music/art background and wonder if there's a more 'bohemian' scene/area and if so how do we tap into it? Just hoping to meet like-minded folk really and hoping we'll 'fit-in'. Would appreciate some feedback from anyone who might know the town well.